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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Top Ten 7.23.08: Pay-Per-Views
Posted by Julian Williams on 07.23.2008

Good day friends and welcome to another spectacular edition of The Top Ten. Sorry for being MIA recently, but I got a 2nd job and needless to say, it's been sucking the life out of me. This week we're going to look at The Top Ten PPV's of all-time. So buckle up for safety and let's go bitches.

The Top Ten Pay-Per-Views

Honorable Mention: Royal Rumble 2001
This is how a Royal Rumble event should be done. A solid undercard with a great Rumble leads to a fantastic PPV. The undercard featured some very good matches like Edge & Christian vs. The Dudleyz, Triple H vs. Kurt Angle, and a fantastic ladder match between Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. That ladder match, in my opinion, is the greatest one-on-one ladder match in wrestling history. The Rumble itself was also terrific as it featured Stone Cold Steve Austin eliminating a dominating Kane to win his third Rumble match and set up one of the biggest main events ever at WM17. This was just a great card from top to bottom.

Honorable Mention: ROH Man Up 2007
When ROH got their PPV deal, many people were skeptical, but if they consistently put on events of this caliber, I will be purchasing every PPV they come out with. There wasn't a single bad match on this card and the final two matches, an ROH World Title match between Takeshi Morishima and Bryan Danielson and a Ladder War between The Briscoes and Kevin Steen & El Generico pushed this to all-time classic levels. Everything on this PPV clicked and I can honestly say that I haven't been as thoroughly entertained watching a wrestling event in years as I was when I saw this event. I don't care if you hate everything Indy, you owe it to yourself to watch this PPV. You wont regret it.

Honorable Mention: Summerslam 2001
This PPV was held during the middle of the Invasion angle and even though that angle sucked, this PPV was AWESOME! Besides the classic Austin/Angle match and the highly entertaining Booker/Rock match, this card also featured such incredible matches like Lance Storm against Edge, X-Pac against Tajiri, Chris Jericho against Rhyno, and an insane ladder match between Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy. Everything about this PPV was great and was one of the highlights of a very stacked 2001.

Honorable Mention: Vengeance 2005
This was one of the best PPV's in the modern era of the WWE as it was a thoroughly entertaining show from beginning to end. There were some good undercard matches with Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito and Kane vs. Edge, a very good triple threat match for the WWE Title between John Cena, Christian and Chris Jericho, an epic rematch between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels, and an awesome Hell In A Cell match between Batista and Triple H. I was entertained throughout the entire duration of this PPV and I believe that even years from now, I'll still remember this event vividly.

10) Wrestlemania 10
This was the Wrestlemania that signaled a change in the landscape of the WWE. The WWE up to that point had always relied on Hulk Hogan when it came to the biggest show of the year, but with Hogan out of the picture, this event showcased some of their youngest and brightest stars. The opening match between Owen Hart and Bret Hart remains to this day as the best opener for any PPV ever. Hell, it remains one of the best matches on any PPV ever PERIOD. The ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon was revolutionary and turned HBK into a huge star. Those two matches alone are two of the most important and influential matches of all time. The Hart brothers matchup made Vince realize that people could get just as excited for great technical wrestling as they could for muscular gimmicks and the ladder match spawned a plethora of other ladder matches after it. There was good support for these two matches as well with the Falls Count Anywhere match between Crush and Macho Man being a fun little encounter and the main event that saw Bret Hart finally topple the mighty Yokozuna was memorable. Overall, this was a great PPV that was historic during its time.

9) Royal Rumble 2000
RR 2K is one of my favorite PPV's of all-time as it featured perhaps my favorite match in history (Cactus Jack vs. Triple H) and had a highly entertaining tables match between The Hardyz and The Dudleyz which was a precursor to all the brutal TLC matches we would see in the coming years. It also had the debut of Tazz who got a MASSIVE pop from the MSG crowd and there was a surprisingly good triple threat match for the IC Title between Chyna, Hardcore Holly, and Chris Jericho. The Rumble also delivered as there was a highly entertaining subplot involving Kaientai and The Rock was able to pick up his first (and only) Rumble victory by eliminating The Big Show. This was just great action from top to bottom and is still as enjoyable today as it was 8 years ago.

8) Wrestlemania 20
This is the WM where it all began again and if that was the case, there wasn't a better way for it to begin. This Wrestlemania had some fantastic title matches and some solid undercard matches which resulted in a fantastic night of wrestling. The match between one-time friends Chris Jericho and Christian was very personal and after a great match, the swerve of all swerves came when Trish turned her back on Jericho and walked away with Captain Charisma. The match between The Rock N' Sock Connection and Evolution was a highly entertaining affair as The Rock and Ric Flair brought the goodness, Foley did his usual crazy shit and the future superstardom of Batista and Randy Orton started becoming more apparent. The Kurt Angle/Eddie Guerrero match was a marvel and ended with Eddie CHEATING TO WIN which made it that much more enjoyable. And of course, there was the main event triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Title between Shawn Michaels, HHH and Chris Benoit which, in my opinion, is the best Wrestlemania main event of all time. Those were four great matches and everything else (except for the Brock/Goldberg debacle) was good enough to not bring the overall quality of the show down. Overall, the WWE wanted this to come off as a big show and it succeeded greatly.

7) Judgment Day 2000
Fans mainly remember this PPV due to the epic 60-Minute Iron Man match between The Rock and Triple H, but people seem to forget that their was a great undercard that preceded it. There was a highly entertaining opener that featured Too Cool and Rikishi against Kurt Angle and Edge & Christian, a very good triple threat match between Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Saturn, a wild Falls Count Anywhere match between Shane McMahon and The Big Show, a decent Tables match between The Dudleyz and Road Dogg & X-Pac, and a fantastic submission bout between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Damn, just talking about that lineup makes me want to watch this show again. I think I will, chat amongst yourselves.

6) Backlash 2000
This PPV surprised me in terms of its value because every match that was suppose to deliver did, but the matches that people didn't expect much from were very good as well. The opening tag match between Edge & Christian against Road Dogg & X-Pac was surprisingly fantastic as the two teams worked an old-school NWA type of tag match and the result was a match that the fans were hugely into. Vince should watch this match again and take note on the current state of tag wrestling in the E. The match for the Light-Heavyweight Title between Scotty 2 Hotty and Dean Malenko almost stole the damn show. I mean we all knew Dean was the man, but Scotty? In a great match? Incredible. There was an insane and entertaining 6-man brawl for the Hardcore Title in an age when the Hardcore Title was a huge joke. On top of those surprisingly good matches, there was a great match between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit for the IC Title and a terrific match between Eddie Guerrero and Essa Rios. But the main event is what brought the people in and it certainly delivered as The Rock and Triple H put on one of the most entertaining matches I've ever seen. This card was just action packed and it's no wonder that people still speak so fondly of this event years later.

5) Canadian Stampede 97
This PPV only had four matches, but those four matches were so good that people still talk about this PPV fondly and it happened over 11 years ago. The PPV started with a bang with Triple H and Mankind putting on one hell of an opening match that ended in a no contest and spilled out into the crowd and even outside the arena! Next up was easily the best light-heavyweight (or cruiserweight, if you prefer) match in WWE history as TAKA Michinoku and The Great Sasuke put on a match that left the Calgary crowd in awe. Following that was an excellent big man match between Vader and The Undertaker and then after that was the MAAAAIIINNNN EVENT which was a huge 10-Man Tag match pitting The Hart Foundation against Steve Austin, Goldust, Ken Shamrock and The Legion Of Doom. This match featured one of the most rabid crowds I've ever seen as they popped for EVERYTHING The Hart Foundation did. I think if a member of The Hart Foundation took a dump on their faces, they would have popped for it. That's how insane the crowd was for them. The main event was absolutely excellent as not only did it have the crowd in the palm of its hand, but it was also quite awesome to boot. This is probably the only PPV I've ever seen where every match on the card was great and even that might not have been too tough given that there was only 4 matches , it's still impressive nonetheless.

4) Summerslam 2002
Ohh man, this PPV had everything. I remember being so psyched up for this Summerslam at the time and thinking that there was no way it could live up to the hype, but it not only lived up to it, it surpassed it. Come on, the OPENING match was Kurt Angle against Rey Mysterio. You know you have an unbelievable card when that's your opening match. This PPV also featured such great matches like Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit. The return of HBK to the ring was also a big selling point for this PPV and it certainly didn't disappoint as he and Triple H put on one of the greatest matches I have ever seen. It was enthralling and spectacular and made you remember why everybody called HBK The ShowStoppa. Then there was the main event which featured Brock Lesnar against The Rock and it was definitely a passing of the torch as The Rock put Brock over tremendously in an awesome match. This is one of the best PPV's I've ever seen and if you've never seen it, I certainly pity you.

3) No Way Out 2001
When you talk about a PPV being stacked from top to bottom, this is a prime example. Just look at the matches on this card: Jericho vs. Benoit vs. Guerrero vs. X-Pac, The Dudleyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Undertaker & Kane, Triple H vs. Austin, and Angle vs. The Rock. Apart from those marquee matches, you also had some surprisingly good matches between Stephanie McMahon and Trish Stratus as well as between Raven and The Big Show. The Three Stages of Hell match between Triple H and Austin is one of the greatest matches of the last decade and The Rock/Angle match was damn near perfection. This was just an exciting show for three straight hours and honestly, what more can you ask for?

2) Great American Bash 89
For a PPV that started so poorly, the last two hours of this show made it one of the greatest wrestling events I've ever seen. I'd even go so far to say that if it weren't for the first 4 matches, this would be the greatest PPV of all-time hands down. After the laughable tuxedo match between Paul E. Dangerously and Jim Cornette, this PPV was fucking AWESOME. Sting vs. Muta was terrific, Luger vs. Steamboat was thisclose to being an all-time classic, The Steiners vs. The Varsity Club was good stuff, The Wargames match pitting The Freebirds & Samoan Swat Team against The Midnight Express, The LOD and Dr. Death was a violent masterpiece, and the main event of Ric Flair against Terry Funk was absolutely fantastic. This was a wonderful event that many feel is the greatest PPV of all-time and if you only watch the last two hours, it's hard to disagree with them.

1) Wrestlemania 17
Come on, did you really think anything else was going to be #1? This is not only the greatest Wrestlemania ever, but this is the greatest PPV ever without a doubt. Many people prefer Great American Bash '89, but in my opinion, it doesn't hold a candle to this show. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about this show was good. They were even smart enough to keep the Ivory/Chyna match so short that it didn't interfere with the show's quality in any kind of way. Look how many great matches are on this card. Austin/Rock, TLC II, Undertaker/HHH, Angle/Benoit, Regal/Jericho, Guerrero/Test, Raven/Big Show/Kane, and Shane/Vince. On top of that, you had a hot crowd and The Gimmick Battle Royal, which was nothing but pure fun. I've never felt as fulfilled from watching a wrestling show as I did after watching this show. I was left in awe and it made me realize just why I love this business so much because no other form of entertainment can elicit such a feeling of joy inside of me.

The Sign-Off

Well that does it for me this week. Be sure to leave some feedback and come back next week (hopefully) when the topic will be The Top Ten Wrestling DVD's. Until then, go wash your ass!


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